Homebound Instruction

Homebound services may be provided to students who have a medical condition preventing them from participating in classroom instruction because they are confined to home or a health care facility.

Out-of-School Support

In addition to homebound instruction, Out-of-School Support also consists of home-based instruction and temporary academic support.

Students are expected to attend school to the fullest extent possible, but homebound services may be provided to students who have a medical condition preventing them from participating in classroom instruction because they are confined to home or a health care facility.  

The Out-of-School Support program manager or educational specialist determines eligibility for homebound instruction based on the Virginia Department of Education Guidelines.  Approval of students for homebound instruction requires medical documentation submitted by an approved medical professional and information provided by school staff members.  Approval is determined on the basis of the documented need for service, taking into consideration less restrictive educational options and a student’s participation in extracurricular or employment activities.  

For students expected to be out of school in excess of nine weeks, a homebound transition plan specifying steps planned to return the student to classroom instruction is needed.

The goal of homebound services is to keep the student current with classroom instruction and facilitate the student’s return to the current classroom setting. 

Homebound instruction is not intended to replace school services and is, by design, temporary. It is not a remediation program and is not designed to provide students with time to make up previously missed assignments.  The goal of homebound instruction is to keep the student as current as possible with classroom instruction.  It is expected that the family and school will minimize academic work missed due to absences prior to the initiation of homebound services.

Levels of Homebound Instruction

  • Students who will miss 20 consecutive days or more of classroom instruction may be considered for full homebound instruction.  
  • Partial or intermittent homebound instruction may be appropriate for some students.

Courses Supported and Teachers

  • Instructional support is provided for core academic classes: english, science, social studies, and mathematics.  For secondary students, foreign language may also be supported if required for the diploma being pursued.  
  • Homebound teachers do not provide instruction in physical education (P.E.), fine arts and practical arts, and elective courses.
  • Homebound teachers must hold a current Virginia license and are assigned by the Office of Out-of-School Support.  They may be current Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teachers or may work hourly for FCPS to provide this service.
  • Assignments and materials provided by the classroom teacher must be used by the homebound teacher.

Interested in becoming a homebound teacher?

Hours and Location of Homebound Services

  • Based on a five-day school week, secondary students are generally provided with two and one-half (2.5) hours of instruction per week for each class.  Elementary students are generally provided with five (5) hours of instructional services per five-day school week.  Students who do not normally attend a full day of school (early childhood) have a proportionally fewer number of hours.
  • Homebound instruction is delivered during regular school hours, late afternoon, or early evening, and only on those days when school is in session.  
  • When scheduling sessions, homebound teachers take into consideration parent or guardian requests, but not all requests can be accommodated.
  • The location of services is designated by the Office of Out-of-School Support and may be the student’s home or a health care facility.  If services are to be provided in the home, a home visit must be completed prior to the initiation of services, an adult must be present at all times, and all pets must be confined prior to the arrival of the homebound teacher.  

Student Rights and Responsibilities

  • The Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) applies to all students in FCPS at school or during school-sponsored activities. Homebound instruction is considered a school-sponsored activity regardless of the venue.

Missed sessions

  • Make-up sessions are only allowed for sessions missed due to illness or family emergencies, and when cancellations are made 24 hours prior to scheduled sessions.  
  • Unless a session can be made up during the same week it was missed, it cannot be made up without permission from the Out-of-School Support program manager or educational specialist.  
  • Sessions missed due to cancellation by the homebound teacher are made up.
  • Sessions missed due to cancellation of FCPS school activities are not made up.

Special Education 

  • If a student is eligible for special education services, after the referral for homebound instruction has been approved by the Out-of-School Support program manager, the individualized education program (IEP) must be amended to meet the student’s temporary instructional needs. 

Technology

  • The use of available technology for the student to participate in some classroom activities from home and to support instruction will be considered when appropriate.

Grading

  • Frequent communication is required between the classroom and homebound teachers, and all work completed by the student is turned in to the classroom teacher.  
  • The classroom teacher is the teacher of record and is responsible for assigning the quarter, semester, and final grades to the student.
  • Every effort will be made to ensure academic progress; however, course credit must still be earned according to class requirements.  

Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests and Other Required Testing

  • The school homebound coordinator, the school testing coordinator, classroom teachers, and homebound teachers will collaborate to arrange for the administration of required testing.


Extension or Early Termination of Homebound Services

  • In order to continue homebound instruction beyond the termination date, the parent must submit a completed Request for Extension of Homebound Instruction form to the Office of Out-of-School Support five school days prior to the termination of services.
  • If the student is able to return to school before scheduled to do so, it is the responsibility of the parent to obtain a medical release statement.  
  • Special education students must have an IEP which returns them to school-based services before homebound services can be terminated.


End-of-Year Termination of Homebound Services

 

  • Homebound instruction for general education students ends on the last scheduled day of regular classes for FCPS students. 
  • Homebound instruction for special education students follows the schedule delineated by the student’s IEP.

Responsibilities

Successful homebound instruction depends on the cooperation and collaboration of a number of individuals. The responsibilities of each of these individuals are summarized below:
 

  • Program manager or educational specialist: 
    • Approves referrals for homebound instruction.
    • Assigns teachers and provides oversight of instruction.
    • Works with the school homebound coordinator to ensure there is appropriate collaboration between classroom teachers and homebound teachers.
       
  • School homebound coordinator: 
    • Coordinates school efforts regarding homebound instruction.
    • Encourages active engagement between the school and the homebound student. 
    • Works to ensure there is appropriate collaboration between classroom teachers and homebound teachers.
       
  • Special education department chair: 
    • If the student receives special education services, ensures that the student receives appropriate services and accommodations while receiving homebound instruction.  
    • Works with the school homebound coordinator and the Office of Out-of-School Support to ensure appropriate collaboration between the classroom teachers and the homebound teachers.
       
  • School social worker: 
    • Conducts home visit.
    • Supports school staff members in working with the student and family.
       
  • School counselor: 
    • Works with the school homebound coordinator and the family to ensure academic and elective requirements are met.
       
  • Classroom teacher: 
    • Collaborates with the homebound teacher to exchange information, strategies, materials, assignments, assessment tools, etc., needed to provide instruction.
    • As the teacher of record determines the quarter, semester, and final grades.
       
  • Homebound teacher:
    • Contacts the family to schedule homebound instruction on regular school days.  
    • Works with the classroom teacher as described above.  
    • Using materials and assignments provided by the classroom teacher provides instruction to the student with the goal of keeping the student as current as possible with classroom instruction.  
    • Returns all completed work to the classroom teacher.  
       
  • Parents or guardians: 
    • Provide the medical documentation needed to support the homebound referral.
    • Obtain assignments from the classroom teachers until homebound teachers are assigned.
    • Work with the school staff to obtain assignments for courses not supported by homebound instruction.
    • Once homebound teachers are assigned, schedules instructional sessions (note that not all scheduling requests can be accommodated).
    • Make sure that the student is ready for instruction at the time agreed upon. 
    • Provide an appropriate learning environment.
    • Confine all pets prior to the arrival of the homebound teachers.
    • Ensure that an adult is in the home at all times.
    • Supervise daily homework.
    • Keep all appointments with the homebound teacher or notify the teacher at least 24 hours in advance if the student is unavailable.
    • Sign paperwork necessary to verify homebound instruction was provided.
    • Inform the school homebound coordinator if the student’s medical situation changes. 
    • Work to return the student to school-based instruction as soon as possible.
    • Understand that the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) applies to all students during school-sponsored activities regardless of venue.  Homebound instruction is considered a school-sponsored activity.
       
  • Student
    • Be ready to meet with the homebound teacher(s) at the scheduled times.
    • Participates actively in instruction.
    • Completes all assignments, including homework assigned.
    • Works to return to school-based instruction as soon as possible.
    • Maintains an organizational system for assignments, as necessary.
    • Understand that the SR&R applies to all students during school-sponsored activities regardless of venue.  Homebound instruction is considered a school- sponsored activity.

Office of Out-of-School Support Contact Information 

Kurt Mills, Out-of-School Support Program Manager, 571-423-4335
Kristin Dougherty, Out-of-School Support Educational Specialist, 571-423-4293